Game Birds:- Long before American settlers, survivalists, marketers, and sport gunmen hunted winged meat or game birds. Once abundant, wildfowl greatly declined.
In the 1900s, market hunting and spring shooting were banned; annual seasons and daily bag limits were established for sport hunters, but these actions failed to stop the decline.
Nowadays, commercial breeders keep and raise pheasants, quail, partridges, peacocks, pigeons, doves, waterfowl ducks, swans, geese, turkeys, grouse, and prairie chickens to supply today’s sport hunters.
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Game Birds Species
There is more than one family of birds referred to as “Button Quail.” For example, there is a “Button Quail” belonging to the family Turnicidae, and there is also one identified as a Phasianidae species. The latter is much more tamable.
Button Quails are distributed in Australia and Southeast Asia. They are very short-lived but very easy-going and convivial. These birds come in silver, white, brown, and other colors.
This bird contributes to popular sporting games, outerwear, and bedding made of their feathers.
They are indigenous to North America about the wetlands – lakes, bays, rivers, and marshes – and feed upon aquatic plants and food from mud and silt.
They also feed in open fields and grasslands. A large long neck, black bill, white throat patch extending up to the cheek, brown back (wings and flank), white underbelly, and the distinctive “honk” distinguishes the Canadian Goose.
Ducks inhabit wetland areas and are the largest group of waterfowl. Ducks have a smaller body size, shorter neck, and narrower, more pointed wings which they beat more rapidly than Swans or Geese.
Male ducks are typically more colorful and sound different than females. There are Dabbling ducks: American Black, Laysan teal (endangered,) mallard, Perching ducks: Mandarin, Maned goose, and wood duck, and Pochard ducks: Canvas black, Red Crested, Ring-necked, and the Rosy billed.
Common to North American waters, Mallard ducks are dabbling ducks. They feed on the water surfaces by swimming and dipping their heads underwater.
In addition to aquatic life, they eat various seeds. Mallards are grayish-brownish-tan ducks with yellow bills, gray wings, whitetails, and black undertail.
Drakes (males) have green heads, white-banded necks, and purplish breasts. Females are mottled brown and tan, with an orange bill and black central patch; they are smaller than males.
The Partridge is a non-migratory bird in the pheasant family. These birds nest on the ground and feed on seeds. Partridge meat is delicious; so many species of these birds are hunted for game and for sport.
Pheasants are polygamous birds that do not ordinarily congregate except in a prime feeding field or wintering area.
49 species have been identified and all but one originates from Asia. Some look like a quail or partridge, however, most have common traits.
Males are prominently different in color possessing a more iridescent plumage than hens and they have facial combs or wattles, well-developed spurs, and very long tails. All of which help them attract mates and defend territories.
The Quail is a small terrestrial bird in the pheasant family. Some species of Quails can fly for long distances, but most species are only capable of short bursts of flight. Quails are hunted for game and farmed in large numbers for eggs.
Red Golden Pheasant
Appealing to the eye, the red golden pheasant comes from Central China. The males are more colorful to attract females during courtship and to draw predators from the nesting hen.
Courtship is a year-round behavior that consists of the male circling the female, stopping, spreading, and displaying his cape and tail, standing on his toes, and hissing.
The female-only accepts the male during spring and early summer and becomes the caregiver.
Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is the most popular bird in America. Domestic turkeys are twice the size of wild turkeys, and they are also very different in appearance.
Wild turkeys reside in woods, where they feed on berries, seeds, acorns, and insects. They are the largest and the most beautiful game birds in North America, and they exhibit incredibly interesting courtship behavior. Males use their fancy tails to attract females.
Wild Turkeys are much smaller than domestic turkeys, but they feature a gorgeous appearance.
Their heads are bare, and there are characteristic skinny growths over the beak (snood) and under the chin (wattle.)
The head and these growths can change color as a bird’s mood changes, which usually happens during courtship or in extreme situations. Male turkeys use their wonderful peacock-like tails to attract females. Clutches may count 18 eggs.
Wood Ducks can be found in North America on the east coast all the way north to south. They live and reproduce in richly vegetated areas near water bodies.
Wood Ducks are small to medium-sized, males measuring 48-54 cm long, and females being 47-51 cm long. Males have iridescent green, purple and blue heads, two parallel white strips running from the bill and to the back of the head. Females have white eye-rings.